Reflections: Remembering the Bicentennial


By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel



Do you remember July, 1976?

I enjoy looking at newspapers from the past and when I came upon the news from this month 40 years ago, I decided to share.

It was July, 1976 that Morrow County, Ohio and the nation celebrated the bicentennial, the 200th birthday of the United States.

There were many activities locally. Perhaps you may recall participating or viewing some of them.

The Morrow County Mounted Deputies assisted with a Bicentennial Pony Express and its route through Morrow County to Valley Forge.

In Morrow County, the route ran over State Route 309 to State Route 288 and then to State Route 97.

Eight members of the Morrow County Mounted Sheriff’s Deputies pictured included Capt. Charles Thomas, Donald Bryan, Warren Wheeler, Claude Wheeler, Dave Smith, James Cummins, Cecil Graham and Ralph Ruggles.

A 60 unit parade was held in Cardington where Walter Axthelm, a 1915 Cardington High School graduate and Carrie Philbrook a 1909 CHS grad were the honorary parade marshals and rode in horse drawn buggies.

Sixty photos of that parade taken by Bill Conaway, were printed in a later edition of the newspaper.

A tour of the Wornstaff Hotel, owned then by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sterritt, was given and the following homes were opened for tours: Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Riley, Mr. and Mrs.Wayne Jenkins, Gertrude Mack, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Perry, Rev. and Mrs. Patrick Kelly, and the house and garden of Mr. and Mrs. Wlllard Durfey. (Note: I served as a hostess of the Perry home)

Events were scheduled every day of the four day observance in Cardington and included a Disney movie in the park. The parade was organized by Bob Akron and included massed colors from the Cardington, Ashley and Marengo American Legion Posts, Caledonia baton twirlers and such historical units as the old Cardington fire department hose cart, and Ed Axthelm with old machinery. Kindra James, 3, rode a pony followed by her mother, Carol James in a horse and buggy. The 1776 era was captured in many ways.

Pictured were Rev. and Mrs. Edward Beck and their children, all attired in colonial attire.

There were many photos published of Cardington scenes from the past – the log cabin in the park, shortly after 1910; the Kreis and Poorman Hardware Store on West Main\, later the site of Max’s Clothing and the Cardington park about 1910 with 250 trees lining the walks.

Cardington sixth grade students, taught by Mills Poorman, planted 21 tree at the rear of the elementary school, commemorating the Bicentennial. Pictured were students Paula Scott and Susan Ruggles as they planted the trees.

Three July, 1976 issues of the county paper were filled with Bicentennial related stories including the early history of Cardington copied from an 1872 paper.

I have fond and lasting memories of the 200th Bicentennial in Morrow County. A popular song in 1976 was Paul McCartney’s Wings performing “Silly Love Songs.”

July of 1966

Gary Crum 1960 Cardington-Lincoln graduate and a 1966 Northwestern University graduate, was named head football coach at Buckeye Valley High School.

The four Weaver brothers of Marengo, were pictured with the bears, one each they had brought home from a hunting trip near Chapleau, Ontario. The sons of Mr and Mrs Harley Weaver were Harley, Jr., John, Dave and Jack.

“The Ballad” by Green Berets Sgt. Barry Sadler, was a popular song in 1966

July of 1986

An earthquake, its epicenter near St. Marys, Ohio was felt in Morrow County at 4:20 am July 13. There was no local damage. People were listening to “That’s What Friends are For,” by Dionne Warwick, a popular song in July, 1986.

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By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com

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